- Cisco Employee,
During the last weekend, CSC has been migrated to a new infrastructure, and there are already some strong opinions about some of its features (or lack thereof). Being a long-time member of CSC, I do not think that dismissive comments about the new infrastructure being plain wrong and putting back the previous version of CSC is a constructive feedback. The team behind CSC had its very good reasons to move to this new infrastructure, and naturally, when our common ways of doing things change, we all feel uncomfortable, me included. But I also know that in IT, things actually can be improved and the CSC team is listening very closely to our opinions and wishes. Just making this immense transition from one infrastructure to another in the course of a single weekend is a feat of IT engineering in itself. So let's simply tell them what we miss. The more agreement and support any constructive feedback gets, the easier it is for the CSC team to justify the improvement to the infrastructure.
So without any hard feelings, these are my comments regarding the new CSC site:
- The visual style of the new environment uses a subdued font color in threads - it is not black, rather, it is some sort of gray. Perhaps it's just me and my declining eye vision but I am having troubles reading posts when printed out in this gray. The visual contrast and readability of the text would be much improved if the text was printed out in plain black. Can something be done about this, or - perhaps - could a user be given an option of choosing his/her own simple environment settings including the font color?
- The "VIP Endorsed" function seems to be unimplemented yet - I see no button to endorse posts of others.
- The "Upload" button to submit a file attachment can be confused with the "Save" button used to submit the entire post. At least in Firefox, the button is placed approximately under the centerline of the editor window, somewhat pushing itself into the user's attention. A user can be tricked to click on the "Upload" button instead of "Save" button when submitting a post. This is not really a problem, more of an inconvenience. My personal suggestion would be to either visually group the "Browse" and "Upload" buttons together, or let the "Upload" button appear only when a particular file is selected for upload.
- In individual posts - or better said, responses, the text is wrapped in a curious way - a word at the end of the line is simply cut and continued on the new line. As an example, think of "rec/eives", "wil/l", "a/ddress", "t/he", ... The wrap depends on the font size - if I change the font size, the text expands or shrinks, causing different words to become cut at line breaks.
- If multiple people respond to the original post that started a new thread, their posts are displayed in the order from the last responder to the first one. As an example, check this thread: https://supportforums.cisco.com/discussion/12133626/cdp-neighbours - here, Reza responded first, then me, then Julio. Interestingly, the thread starts with Julio's response, then mine, then Reza's. This ordering is reversed to what should be the natural order. I believe the ordering of posts in a thread should follow the timeline, starting with the earliest responses, plus observe the threading.
- The new text editor misses most of the advanced features that were available in the previous CSC version:
- Elements like tables or horizontal lines are not available.
- I can not quote the previous post or a part of it. Sure, I can do copy&paste but there is no visual "Quote" style I could use to highlight the quote.
- There is no visual style for configuration snippets or command outputs that require a kind of "Raw source" style (Courier, no stripping of whitespace at the line beginning, no inter-paragraph indentation, etc.).
- It is not possible to perform font changes, at least between Arial, Times and Courier. This would also be welcome, as sometimes it is necessary to change the font within a paragraph without using a totally different visual style.
- The editor window can not be resized. Clicking on the right bottom corner and dragging it is ignored, although the corner has its "grip" highlighted for this function.
- The editor takes inordinately long to load - seconds, sometimes even tens of seconds.
- On the other hand, some of the current features, such as "justified" alignment, do not seem to be useful - especially considering the fact that my responses are aligned as "justified" although I have written them using the default of "align left" setting. Is it possible that the alignment applies only to first posts in threads and not to responses?
- After entering a particular CSC section from the Directory link (say, "WAN, Routing and Switching"), the list of discussions is not sorted by the date of the latest post (in fact, I do not know according to what key it is sorted - it would seem that the list is sorted by the date of the thread creation). In particular, threads that have just been responded to are not moved to the top of the list. This makes it difficult to track threads you have joined because even if someone else joins the thread, or the original poster reponds, you do not see that the thread has been updated.
- I am not sure if the RSS feeds work correctly. In particular, I was looking for an RSS feed that posted a new update each time any thread in a particular section is created or replied to. However, none of the RSS feeds in the new environment appear to provide this functionality. There is a feed called Discussions and another feed called Discussion Messages - I have tried them both but the first one seems to only advertise newly created threads and not their replies (which would be logical), while the second one works in a weird way: if a new thread is created, it displays only the header and an empty body. In addition, it seems that both new threads are their responses are sometimes missed from this feed, i.e. it loses some of new threads or their responses. In addition, it tends to display the entire response body which is overly large.
If anyone agrees/disagrees, or has his/her own set of thoughts and suggestion - please bring them along!